The ICC has appointed Ranjan Madugalle to facilitate the meeting between Indian captain Anil Kumble and Australian captain Ricky Ponting. Indian team manager Chetan Chauhan said that the BCCI welcomed the ICC"s decision to remove Steve Bucknor from officiating in the series, and added that the BCCI"s strong stance on the issue helped in getting one of their demand to be met early. He also said that the BCCI was putting Harbhajan"s case very strongly in front of the ICC and the removal of the ban would help in lessening of the anger and frustration among the players.
An appeals commissioner would be appointed within the next 24 hours by the ICC to look into the case.
Meanwhile, the ICC have taken a U-turn on their decision to retain umpire Steve Bucknor for the third and fourth India-Australia Tests to be played at Perth and Adelaide respectively.
ICC chief Malcolm Speed confirmed that Steve Bucknor has been removed from officiating in the series against India. The BCCi has instructed the Indian team to head for Canberaa to play a two-day fixture against Australian Combined Territories (ACT) XI.
New Zealand empanelled umpire Billy Bowden would replace Bucknor for the series. This was the first demand by the BCCI, which has been fulfilled, but the issue of Harbhajan Singh"s ban still remains to be addressed.